Friday, January 6, 2012
Penrith Lakes again
Dusky Woodswallow. ( Courtesy of Canberra Birds)
Yesterday I picked up the 250. I must say just how helpful Hawkesbury Honda are. There was no charge for the repair to the bike and despite looking "major," it was, in fact just a tweek of a few bolts and all was well. Dave and I cleaned the bike, (well, I sat in the car while he steamed cleaned it), and then it was time to return the trailer to the hire centre.
This gave me the perfect excuse to try some birding around the Penrith Lakes. I have posted before about the lakes and the system. However, each time I go it just gets better. I was curious to see how I coped without the use of the right leg and what the bird life was like now some of the lakes had dropped in water level.
I had no expectations, (critical if you want to have a good time regardless of where you are and what you are doing), plenty of "boyish enthusiasm" , and a desire to enjoy the outdoors in peace and quiet.
The day was warm, golden and sunny, with a blue sky and gentle breeze. It was a brilliant summers day. On the breeze was the smell of Privet and even Wattle tree. Flowers still seem to be in bloom. This is the thing with Australia- give it water and it comes alive for months.
Brown Quail. (Courtesy of Birds in Back Yards)
I chose not to attempt to walk with the crutches as the risk of a fall in a paddock was there. Instead I chose to drive, park and open the doors, using the car as a "hide". I have to say this worked brilliantly! The FJ has the unusual door opening and it acted as a perfect hide. So good in fact that a Brown Quail wandered past my feet!! For any birders who read my blog, the concept of using the doors as the sides of the hide and draping a camouflage netting over the top with holes/windows for telescopes and binoculars is very very feasible in this vehicle, and when the roof rack is fitted I am going to do this. In the outback, where cover is limited, opening the doors, and throwing a cover over is perfect. Bird don't seem to get stressed with cars, but the minute they see people they are off.
I spent a good couple of hours enjoying the sun. The birds I enjoyed the most was the Brown Quail, (got a brilliant look), and Black winged Stilt ( one of the prettiest birds imo). Of course Wedged tailed Eagles soaring in a pair is always breathtaking. From the list you can see that I got very few "small brown flitty things", as you do need to move around a bit in the long grass and trees which I could not do. The Thornbills were good though.
Black-winged Stilt (not my photo).
All in all a great way to enjoy sunshine and fresh air.
Birds seen:-Wedged tail Eagle, Black-winged Stilt, White Winged Cough, Australian Magpie, Australian Raven, Yellow-Billed Spoonbill, Yellow Thornbill, Australian White Ibis,Great Egret, Australia Darter, Black Swan, Little-pied Cormorant, Purple Swamphen, Hoary-headed Grebe, Eurasian Coot, Pacific Black Duck, Little Black Cormorant, Little Egret, Noisy Miner, Australian Kookaburra, Grey Butcherbird, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White Plumed Honeyeater, Dusky Wood Swallow, Fairy Martin, Magpie Lark, Australian Pipit, Brown Quail, Crested Pigeon, Great Cormorant, Welcome Swallow, Bul Bul, Australian Pelican, Galah, Short-billed Corella, Black-shouldered Kite, Masked Lapwing, Willy Wagtail, White-faced Heron, Common Starling, House Sparrow. 40.